You’ve probably heard me complain before that the so-called “science” or research that you often find on blogs and websites for software companies, while useful and sometimes even insightful, is less than perfect. It’s “research” for content sake, not for insight’s sake.
Furthering frustration is the fact that few companies focus solely on social media or social networking market research yet. So we’re left with Pew Internet & American Life and a few other cursory surveys from a handful of companies that choose to share what they find.
… with the exception of Edison Research, Arbitron and their combined effort called The Social Habit. Since 1998, these two research powerhouses have been conducting representative sample research on new media and our use of it. Tom Webster, formerly a regular writer here at SME and Edison’s Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, oversees the study. While Tom is a friend and (for disclosure’s sake) Edison is a sponsor of SME’s Explore digital marketing events, I’ve always considered The Social Habit to be the most detailed and scientific of all user behavior studies around social media.
The newest version of The Social Habit is out now and was unveiled at Tom’s presentation at Blog World & New Media Expo in New York on Tuesday. I took notes, along with hundreds of others. But you can get the download of the research by simply going to The Social Habit website and signing up for it. The free download will include insights on social networkers and how they compare to the broad U.S. population. It will show you who is using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Groupon, YouTube and more and how they’re using it. The insights include lots of information about mobile marketing as well.
And yes, you’ll see that me, Mark Schaefer and Jay Baer are there, too. We’ll be taking part in building and analyzing future Social Habit research. More to come on that soon. For now, get the research. It’s what folks like me memorize to quote throughout the year. You should download your copy of the new Social Habit information now. Jump over and do so! You’ll learn something new, for certain.